August 29, 2010 marks the 40th Anniversary of what is now know as the Chicano Moratorium, where upwards of 30,000 protesters, mostly Mexican Americans or Chicanos, gathered in Laguna Park in East Los Angeles to peacefully protest the Vietnam War. By August of 1970, the mortality rate in the Vietnam War was disproportionately high within the Chicano demographic, while funding for schools, jobs, healthcare, housing, and other important areas of our daily infrastructure were grossly under-funded or non-existent. Activists, community leaders and students built a broad coalition of support and created a day of education, learning and music to help raise awareness of these discrepancies in the Chicano Community. The day would end tragically just as the rally was beginning in the park as Los Angeles County Sheriff’s attacked the non-violent crowd with tear gas and batons. The result was four dead, including Award Winning Los Angeles Times Journalist and News Director of KMEX Spanish Television, Ruben Salazar.
KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles covered the Chicano Moratorium, and on this episode of From the Vault, we’ll hear actuality from that fateful day in Laguna Park in East Los Angeles. Included in this program are comments from then KPFK La Raza Nueva host Moctezuma Esparza and Rosalio Munoz, event organizer and former UCLA student body President, the only speaker who spoke before the violence from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s broke out.
But first, we’ll check in with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali in 1968, as both would come out strongly against the war, and grow outspoken on America’s participation in the Vietnam War.
From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project.
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